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University of Michigan Snaps Ties With Confucius Institute

A sign for the University of Michigan.
University of Michigan. Photo: MLive

The University of Michigan is closing the branch of Confucius Institute, a non-profit public educational organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China, by not renewing the agreement.

The university didn’t mention the reason for closure but said that the institute will continue to offer various cultural programs and host a grand Chinese opera event next year.

“Today, U-M has a large and growing portfolio of partnerships with China in research and education, ranging from engineering to science, medicine to management, and health to humanities,” James Holloway, vice provost for global engagement and interdisciplinary academic affairs, said.

“This transition is driven by a desire to more broadly include the work of exploring and studying Chinese visual and performing arts within U-M’s regular academic and culturalunits.”

The Confucius Institute has a worldwide presence with a primary motive to promote Chinese language and culture in the rest of the world.

In August, in a similar move, the University of North Florida closed the branch of the Institute after a review committee found that its mission and goals were not aligned with that of the school.

In March, three Republican lawmakers introduced Foreign Influence Transparency Act requiring the institute to register under the Foreign AgentsRegistration Act (FARA).

Earlier, the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Chicago have also cut ties with the Confucius Institute.